Background: To report the outcomes of patients with locoregionally advanced and high- risk salivary gland malignancies treated with surgery followed by adjuvant chemoradiotherapy.
Methods: From 09/1991 - 06/2007, 24 high-risk salivary gland cancer patients were treated with surgery, followed by adjuvant chemoradiotherapy for high-risk pathologic features including, perineural involvement, nodal involvement, positive margins, or T3/T4 tumors. Chemoradiotherapy was delivered for 4-6 alternating week cycles: the most common regimen, TFHX, consisted of 5 days paclitaxel (100 mg/m² on d1), infusional 5-fluorouracil (600 mg/m²/d × 5d), hydroxyurea (500 mg PO BID), and 1.5 Gy twice daily irradiation followed by a 9-day break without treatment.
Results: Median follow-up was 42 months. The parotid gland was more frequently involved (n = 17) than minor (n = 4) or submandibular (n = 3) glands. The median radiation dose was 65 Gy (range 55-68 Gy). Acute treatment related toxicity included 46% grade 3 mucositis and 33% grade 3 hematologic toxicity. Six patients required feeding tubes during treatment. One patient progressed locally, 8 patients progressed distantly, and none progressed regionally. Five-year locoregional progression free survival was 96%. The 3 and 5 year overall survival was 79% and 59%, respectively. Long-term complications included persistent xerostomia (n = 5), esophageal stricture requiring dilatation (n = 1), and tempromandibular joint syndrome (n = 1).
Conclusions: Surgical resection followed by adjuvant chemoradiotherapy results in promising locoregional control for high-risk salivary malignancy patients.